Hospital emergency rooms saw a flood of patients with flu-like symptoms and stomach complaints during the Lunar New Year holiday, Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Deputy Director-General Lin Ting (林頂) said.
Approximately half of all ER patients between Thursday and Sunday were diagnosed with flu-like illness or gastric flu, Lin said.
Between 34,000 and 38,000 patients sought some kind of ER treatment each day of the holiday, said Lin, and up to 11,000 flu patients visited ERs on Friday alone.
A total of 65 individuals were reported to have severe flu complications, slightly more than last year, Lin said.
Hospital ERs bore the brunt of the onslaught because most local clinics were closed for the holiday, said Huang Ping-wen, head of ER at Show Chwan Memorial Hospital in Changhua County.